Forbes: The hidden costs when remote workers spend all day on the couch

UC ergonomics expert offers advice on ergonomics and working from home

Working from home may not be all it’s thought to be. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic workers across the nation were allowed to work remotely from home without any real instruction when it comes to proper ergonomics, according to Kermit Davis, PhD, a professor in the UC Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences.

Research from Davis was cited in a recent Forbes magazine article. Davis conducted an ergonomic assessment of employees at the University of Cincinnati sending out an email survey to 4,500 faculty and staff after the coronavirus pandemic prompted the university to join send workers home a year ago to continue operations.

The survey had 843 people complete it. As part of the study, 41 employees sent Davis photos of workers at home workstations for ergonomic review. This subset showed some trends and offered a glimpse into what many who work from home are encountering. The findings were published in the scholarly journal Ergonomics in Design.

Collaborators on the study included Susan E. Kotowski, PhD, associate professor in the UC College of Allied Health Sciences; Denise Daniel, a student in the master’s degree program of occupational health nursing at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing; Thomas Gerding, who is pursuing a PhD in environmental and industrial hygiene; and Jennifer Naylor, who is in the master’s degree program of occupational health nursing. Megan Syck is also a co-author and pursuing a Master of Science degree in environmental and industrial hygiene.

Davis told Forbes that an ergonomically correct at-home workstation would start with a desk, table or chair (no beds, couches or the floor) and would also include minimized glare in the work environmental along with an adjustable office chair with lumbar and arm support and an external monitor, mouse and keyboard.

Read the Forbes story discussing research from Kermit Davis, PhD.

Learn more about research from Davis concerning proper ergonomics.